I heard a man once years ago tell about how death of our dreams was an inevitable time of life. I remember thinking at the time about all the dreams that had died…that was close to 30 years ago and I have watched so many more dreams die since then.
You would think as life was just starting I would have had so many more dreams that were being made. I guess I did have some. I loved having six children. I loved fulfilling my dream of educating them apart from this world’s philosophy (as much as humanly possible). I loved marrying a man who would be true to me and to our children, working hard even when everything we touched seemed to turn to ashes. I found some wonderful times in those early years….but I also had to let go of some of my dreams like…
*having my mom around when I had children to encourage me and teach me and love on them
*having my dad as a constant source of protection and security
* having family close so we could take our children and give them a sense of family
* having good health so I could carry out my duties as wife, mother and pastor’s wife with energy, vitality and joy
*Having a thriving ministry where we were loved and made deep connecting friendships
Today? What did I want so long ago that hasn’t come to pass? I thought things would be easier by now. I thought I’d be neck deep in ministry. I thought we’d have at least a little bit of this world’s goods so we could visit family. I thought I would have opportunities… that have gone to others. I thought I could be near my own children and their children to encourage and love on them. I thought my children would enjoy being with me so much that they would seek every opportunity to be with us…this is actually funny…I’m not a very likable person. I’m not the life of the crowd. I’m not a doting sweet person who everyone wants to be around because they make you feel like a million bucks. Come to think of it, I don’t know anyone like that. But I grew up on The Osmond Family Christmas specials and Bob Hope’s Christmas Special. When I was growing up, I was a part of a large family and I was the last child of the Grandma and Grampa that everyone wanted to spend Christmas with. I missed that for my children and thought, “Oh well, when they grow up and we bring everyone home for Christmas, it will be like that.” It hasn’t worked out that way. Either the in laws take up all their time or they can’t afford to come…so Christmas and holidays have become very lonely where I remember all the good times when the children were small and gifts plentiful because God provided…not big expensive gifts…but gifts that meant something and we spent hours playing the games or putting together Legos or watching videos and snacking all day long with everyone around us.
I guess in my own way I have lost the desire to dream. What’s the point? This life has nothing to offer that I think it can deliver. We aren’t the Italian family that blows up and just continues to love anyway and goes to Grammy’s house every Sunday because if we didn’t she’d blow her top. I don’t blow my top…I just quietly sit with my hubby wishing the kids would come…and the grandkids….
I think what really spurred this on is we went to visit a family with a lot of teens…all their friends were there to picnic, swim, play carpet ball…and I miss that. I miss those days so much. :(
So my advice? lol Don’t ask me. I don’t know what it is to have a lot of fulfilled dreams…just ones that died somewhere along the way. But … if you are that young couple with children…enjoy them. You may be that family down the road that gets together all the time…or you may end up like us…alone on the holidays wondering how to make them special…without the babies you rocked and hugged and loved and woke up with all those years…when you were too tired to dream any further.
I don’t want to end this so scarily real and sad. At least I know someday in Heaven we will have all of them with us. They will want to celebrate there…birthdays together like we used to, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving. We’ll have an eternity there.
So when someone says to me, “Maybe they will come back someday.” And my heart says “No…that will never happen” because it is too tired to dream…I will remember that my hope and dreams may only be in the afterlife…but that’s just a few short years away and I can dream of then.